Tracy McGrady is bound for the basketball Hall of Fame and said this recently:
“Social media can give a lot of people voices these days, and the first thing they say is ‘No rings, no rings.’ You have to have a great team and some luck to get a ring, right? Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed with that. But I go back at them with this: Anybody can win a championship. Everybody can’t get in the Hall of Fame.
There is an obvious bias from both sides. And both sides have a point — although I lean McGrady.
I get what Smith is saying. Guys who win a ring and contribute to it have a lot to be proud of — and Smith is one of those. To get that ring requires sacrificing numbers for the bigger picture, it requires playing on both ends, it requires commitment, and it requires and ability to play under pressure. McGrady didn’t even get close to that as a leader of a team — he never made it out of the first round until he was a bench warmer with the Spurs at the end of his career.
However, McGrady also has his point, not all guys who have rings earned them — Darko Milicic, Adam Morrison, Eddy Curry and on and on. Every year, rings go to guys who didn’t contribute much. And yes, entrance into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame — remember, this is not an NBA hall (we still need one of those) — can reward the old boys club of basketball administrators, some older players in with the veterans committee, and some players who get in on international credentials.
That said, the NBA guys who are in are the elite. The cream of the crop. The best who ever played the game. And that can be a harder club to crack.
To me, what we need is an NBA only Hall of Fame, however, it iw hard to imagine that coming in the next dozen years.